April 4, 2008

Squeaker Warns Petraeus He Had Better Admit Iraq War Is Lost

Hatched by Dafydd

In a frankly stunning display of the audacity of hopelessness, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 95%) "warned" Gen. David Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker, according to the Voice of America yesterday, that in their upcoming congressional testimony, they had better not say that Iraq is doing well:

A few days before General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker appear before House and Senate committees to deliver their latest update on Iraq, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi makes clear what she hopes they will not say.

In a news conference together with the chairmen of the House committees on Armed Services and Foreign Affairs, she refers to the recent fighting in Iraq's southern port city of Basra, saying Petraeus and Crocker should not attempt to put a positive spin on events.

"We have to know the real ground truths of what is happening there, not put a shine on events because of a resolution [of the situation in Basra] that looks less violent when it has in fact been dictated by someone [Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada] al-Sadr who can grant or withhold that call for violence or not," said Nancy Pelosi.

Yesterday, the New York Times revealed that one of the major "anonymous" sources claiming that Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had lost the Battle of Basra -- and that Muqtada Sadr and the Mahdi Militia had won -- was none other than Ambassador Crocker himself:

But the Iraqi operation was not what the United States expected. Instead of methodically building up their combat power and gradually stepping up operations against renegade militias, Mr. Maliki’s forces lunged into the city, attacking before all of the Iraqi reinforcements had even arrived. By the following Tuesday, a major fight was on.

“The sense we had was that this would be a long-term effort: increased pressure gradually squeezing the Special Groups,” Mr. Crocker said in an interview, using the American term for Iranian-backed militias. “That is not what kind of emerged.”

“Nothing was in place from our side,” he added. “It all had to be put together....”

“He went in with a stick and he poked a hornet’s nest, and the resistance he got was a little bit more than he bargained for,” said one official in the multinational force in Baghdad who requested anonymity. “They went in with 70 percent of a plan. Sometimes that’s enough. This time it wasn’t.” [Anonymous "sources" still outnumber named sources seven to one in this article, even with the "outing" of Amb. Crocker... a ratio that is astonishing all by itself.]

As the Iraqi military and civilian casualties grew and the Iraqi planning appeared to be little more than an improvisation, the United States mounted an intensive military and political effort to try to turn around the situation, according to accounts by Mr. Crocker [which are not quoted but only characterized by the Times] and several American military officials in Baghdad and Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity. [Naturally.]

Crocker may very well have been taken out of context; a thorough reading of the Times story paints a fact picture significantly at odds with the conclusionary nature of the article itself. For example, it's not until the very end of the article that we learn how much in control Iraqi forces were during the battle:

The United States helped the Iraqis ferry in supplies by C-130. The Iraqis, however, also began to fly in supplies and troops using their two C-130s. More than 500 Iraqi replacement soldiers were moved by air while an additional brigade was sent by ground. The Iraqis also flew Huey and Hip multimission helicopters.

Taking a page out of the American counterinsurgency doctrine, the United States encouraged the Iraqis to distribute aid and mount job programs to try to win over the Basra population.

To ease the distribution of supplies, American officials from the Agency for International Development flew with Iraqi officials to Basra to work with United Nations officials. The Americans also encouraged Mr. Maliki to proceed with his plan to seek an alliance with the Shiite tribes, as the Americans had done with Sunni tribes in the so-called Anbar Awakening.

“We strongly encouraged him to use his most substantial weapon, which is money, to announce major jobs programs, Basra cleanup, whatnot,” Mr. Crocker said. “And to do what he decided to do on his own: pay tribal figures to effectively finance an awakening for Basra.”

All of the most explosive charges -- for example, that Maliki was really trying to "weaken the Mahdi Army and the affiliated political party of the renegade cleric Moktada al-Sadr before provincial elections in the south that are expected to be to be held this year" -- still remain in the mouths of unnamed and even unquoted sources; in this case, "one American intelligence officer in Washington."

But this overtly condemnatory but covertly explupatory article has now become the basis for Pelosi and Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA, 85%) and Ike Skelton (D-MO, 85%) to demand that Petraeus and Crocker tell Congress that Basra is lost, and thereby that the "surge" is a failure. .. once again pointing out how the elite media has made itself into simply the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. From the VOA article:

Thursday's news conference came in the wake of seemingly critical comments by Ambassador Crocker in a New York Times interview about the Iraqi government's handling of military operations in Basra.

Elaborating during a Baghdad news conference, Crocker indicated again that Iraqi military decisions caught U.S. forces by surprise. But he described Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as having acted decisively, and praised the Iraqi military for its ability to plan, execute and adjust its operation....

Democratic House foreign affairs chairman Howard Berman says the Iraqi government appears, in his words, to have largely frittered away chances for political reconciliation:

"The purpose of the [U.S. military] surge was to create political space for Iraqis to make meaningful strides toward national reconciliation, but sectarianism sadly remains the dominant force in Iraq and the sacrifices involved in getting us to this point don't seem to have put us much closer to the goal," said Howard Berman.

Left unexplained by Rep. Berman is how the Iraqi government -- controlled by the Shia -- attacking the Shiite militias under Iranian control is an example of "sectarianism."

Berman also announced -- again without explanation -- that the Iraq war had created "the inarguable strengthening of Iran, the most dangerous state in the Middle East." As the point was "inarguable," the VOA did not report any demur from Republicans. I would love to see a transcript of the committee meeting, however, to see whether the inarguable was, in fact, argued with.

Democrats, still giddy from their 2006 electoral victories, have persistently tried to dictate political analyses to the generals running the Iraq war, frequently chastising them for reporting facts that are inconvenient to Democratic defeatism. This breathtaking attempt to hijack the president's position as Commander in Chief hit its liberal apotheosis today; I doubt that ever before in the history of the Republic (perhaps of the West) has a government ordered its own military to falsely claim defeat in the face of clear victory.

In that sense, the 110th Congress of the United States is indeed historic.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 4, 2008, at the time of 2:45 PM

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The following hissed in response by: cdquarles


This is an April Fool's joke, isn't it? If it isn't, what makes the Democrats think that their narrative will be affirmed by General Petraeus? Sheer arrogance, perhaps? These people are so deluded that there isn't a medical term sufficient to describe them.

The above hissed in response by: cdquarles [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2008 3:42 PM

The following hissed in response by: Da Coyote

And just exactly would this mindless, do nothing without her husband's money, botox mainlining idiotess do if the general calls her bluff?

The above hissed in response by: Da Coyote [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2008 4:01 PM

The following hissed in response by: scrapiron

How many young Iraqi men that had been under the thumb of Mookie's terrorists came out immediately and joined the Iraqi army? More than a thousand. I successful show of force had a positive effect on the population. The only effect Botox has ever had is in starting the destruction of America. Anyone notice how things have went down hill in the past 14 months. Oil over double, the stock market in trouble, housing in trouble, Unemployment on the rise. All since the dimorats took over control of congress.

The above hissed in response by: scrapiron [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2008 8:44 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

5^5 comment. The Republicans can bat a series of grand slams on that observation of facts.

I see the MSM's efforts to turn Basra into a defeat as nothing less than what the MSM did with their deliberate lies about the Tet offensive 40 years ago.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 5, 2008 5:52 AM

The following hissed in response by: Ymarsakar

I just can't believe how long traitors and useful idiots can survive when their treason prospers.

It is rather ridiculous, people.

The above hissed in response by: Ymarsakar [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 6, 2008 3:42 PM

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